|Title:||Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football|
Anthony (Tony) Reno became the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football on Jan. 12, 2012. The 34th head coach of the Bulldogs came back to the program after serving as an assistant at Yale and Harvard. Since returning to New Haven, the Elis went from two wins to five in 2013 and then eight last fall.
Yale's 2014 campaign brought much national attention back to New Haven's gridiron. Not only was it the Yale Bowl's 100th anniversary, it was a remarkable season for the Bulldogs, who went 8-2 and had a shot at the Ivy title while ESPN's GameDay broadcast live from the season finale.
The 2014 Elis led the FCS in total offense while TB Tyler Varga '15 led the nation in scoring and WR Grant Wallace was tops in yards per game receiving. The season included an OT win over Army and an award for the nation's team of the week by the College Football Writer's Assocation of America.
His 2013 Yale team made national news by beating a ranked Cal Poly team on the road in October. His Bulldogs also produced numerous league and national honors.
Reno, the Harvard special teams coordinator and defensive secondary coach from 2009 to 2011, helped engineer an undefeated 2011 Ivy League Championship team, which earned a No. 14 Football Championship Subdivision National Ranking. Three of his Crimson special teams units were ranked statistically among the nation's top 20 in 2011.
The 40-year-old Oxford, Mass., native and a 1997 Worcester State College graduate, helped develop 10 All-Ivy players and an All-American over the last two seasons in Boston. His defensive backs enabled the Crimson to lead the league in scoring defense while earning impressive national rankings in numerous categories.
Reno, who spent six years in New Haven and rose to assistant head coach under Jack Siedlecki, helped the Bulldogs win a 2006 Ivy title. He was Yale's wide receivers coach in 2003 and the defensive secondary leader from 2004 to 2008. His 2003 receivers played an integral role in the Blue's No. 2 national ranking in total offense. When he took over the Eli defensive backs, they helped the defense rise to new heights. The 2007 and 2008 Bulldogs were No. 1 in FCS scoring defense, while 14 of his players earned all-league honors during his Yale tenure.
A 2002 AFLAC/Coach Magazine National Assistant of the Year Award winner, Reno served as Worcester State's defensive coordinator from 1998 to 2002. The Lancers, who made two post-season appearances and went 27-5 with Reno as defensive coordinator, were 2001 ECAC Northeast Champions and made it to the title game the following year.
Reno, whose first job was defensive assistant coach at King's (Pa.) College for the 1997 season, earned a degree in history before completing a master's of science in health education from WSC in 2000. As a player at WSC, Reno was a three-year starter at free safety, and his team was league champion his last two seasons. His 1996 team led the nation in scoring, rushing and pass efficiency defense.
Reno is the first Yale football head coach from Massachusetts since Ted Coy '10 in 1910. He and his wife, Toni, have three children: Dante, Angelina and Vince.
|Title:||Joel E. Smilow '54 Offensive Coordinator, Offensive LIne|
Joe Conlin, who will coach his fourth season at Yale in 2015, completed his first as the Joel E. Smilow '54 Offensive Coordinator last fall.
His 2014 season was a great start. The Bulldogs, who went 8-2, led the nation in total offense while his RB (Tyler Varga, points per game) and WR (Grant Wallace, yards per game) led the FCS in offensive categories. In addition, his QB (Morgan Roberts) was tops in the Ivy in almost every statistic.
Conlin, also the offensive line coach, has done great things with the guys up front. The stats tell most of the story, but there are other accomplishments. His 2013 starting five began every game that fall, the only Ivy League school to accomplish that, while three of the five earned All-Ivy League honors.
Conlin came to New Haven after spending the 2011 season helping Harvard win an Ivy title while setting a school scoring record.
Most of Conlin’s coaching experience was at FCS power New Hampshire, where he helped the Wildcats to seven straight NCAA playoff appearances from 2004 to 2010. During his tenure at UNH, Conlin also worked with the defensive line, safeties and special teams for a program that went 65-25 and won one conference championship.
Conlin, a three-year starter at defensive tackle at the University of Pittsburgh, coached the defensive line at West Virginia Tech in 2003, a year after graduating. His Pittsburgh head coach, Walt Harris, selected him as a game captain four times. Conlin earned a degree in administration of justice.
He also gained coaching experience at Greensburg Central Catholic High School from 2002-03 where he worked with the tight ends and defensive ends while also handling strength and conditioning.
Conlin, his wife, Karen, and daughter, Hannah, reside in Southington, Conn.
|Title:||Assistant Head Coach, Running Backs|
Yale’s running backs coach, Larry Ciotti, completed his 21st year of collegiate coaching in 2014, having worked primarily as the running backs coach for former Yale head coaches Carm Cozza and Jack Siedecki before leaving coaching from 2008 through 2011.
Ciotti began at Yale in 1991 and served two seasons as the head coach of the freshman squad. Since then he helped Rashad Bartholomew '01 become Yale’s career rushing leader before he signed with the Tennessee Titans. He also mentored two-time All-Ivy back Robert Carr ’05, who surpassed Bartholomew in the record books. He continued the trend by coaching Ivy MVP and All-American Mike McLeod ’09, who holds every major rushing record at Yale.
His latest protege, Tyler Varga '15, was an All-American who led the nation in scoring, served as captain of the North team in the Senior Bowl (scored 2 TDs) and was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.
Ciotti, who had an 8-4 record coaching the Bullpups, is a Connecticut high school coaching legend. In 19 seasons (1970-88) as the head coach at Daniel Hand in Madison, Conn., he compiled a 141-41-2 record and won five state titles. Ciotti then served as director of athletics at Hand from 1988 to 1992. In 1993, he was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame. Ciotti received the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
The captain of the 1965 Southern Connecticut State University football team (graduated in '66), Ciotti earned All-New England and All-Eastern League honors as a center/linebacker. He was inducted into the SCSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
His son, Mike '90, was a center for the 1989 Ivy Champion Bulldogs. Ciotti and his wife, Barbara, reside in Madison. They also have three daughters, Susan, Deanna, and Cathryn and 12 grandchildren.
|Title:||Joel E. Smilow ’54 Defensive Coordinator (LB)|
Rick Flanders, who coached his 18th season at Yale in 2014, returned in 2012 to the job of defensive coordinator, a position he held under former Yale mentor Jack Siedlecki for 12 seasons. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2007, has been on the staffs of the last three Yale head coaches and has 24 years of experience coaching in the Ancient Eight.
Flanders has handled defensive backs and linebackers during his Yale tenure. Under his watch, Yale was ranked No. 1 in the FCS in scoring defense in 2007 and 2008.
He came to Yale from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was secondary coach for five seasons (1992 to 1996), including Ivy titles in 1993 and 1994. Flanders' defensive backs helped the Penn defense rank nationally in both seasons, including No. 1 in pass efficiency defense for 1994.
Before heading to Philadelphia, Flanders was head coach of the undefeated 1991 Dean (Mass.) Junior College team and was the linebacker and special teams coach at Lafayette from 1987 to 1990.
In 1986 he was the defensive coordinator at American International College, after three seasons as linebacker and defensive back coach at SUNY-Albany, where he also served as head lacrosse coach for one year.
Flanders graduated from the University of Maine in 1979 and earned a master’s degree in education from the University at Albany.
A Concord, N.H., native, he and his wife, Wendy, live in Madison and have three children: Ashley, Lindsey and Alexander '14.
|Title:||Assistant Coach - QB (Pass Game Coordinator)|
2015 marks Kevin Cahill's fourth year coaching at Yale and his second as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
His first year with the Yale QBs produced amazing numbers. QB Morgan Roberts and the Yale offense led the nation in total offense and were third in scorng and fifth in passing yards. Roberts connected often with WR Grant Wallace, who led the FCS in yards per game.
Cahill spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as Yale’s special teams coordinator and WRs coach.
Prior to that, he spent four years as an assistant coach at the University of Maine - the last three working with special teams – before coming to New Haven.
He was a three-year starting quarterback at Springfield (Mass.) College, who led the team to two NCAA Playoff appearances.
Cahill also coached the Black Bears’ running backs and wide receivers while serving as the director of personnel and the NFL liason. He coached two All-Americans (Jared Turcotte, Jhamal Fluellen) and six all-conference players while at Orono.
A two-year assistant at Murray State, Cahill coached the wide receivers, assisted in the passing game and served as recruiting coordinator for the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. He mentored a pair of All-Ohio Valley Conference players.
Before going to Kentucky, Cahill was a wide receivers coach for Tennessee-Martin for 2004 and 2005, helping the program engineer its first winning season in 13 years.
He also spent time coaching at Maine Maritime Academy (2001) and at Springfield (2002, 2003).
Cahill and his wife, Carah, have two sons, Patrick and Thomas, and a daughter, Elizabeth, and reside in Madison.
|Title:||Assistant Coach - Defensive Backs|
Steven Vashel, who has coached football at seven different schools in the Northeast and is a graduate of Springfield College, finished his third season as Yale’s defensive backs coach in 2014.
Vashel spent three years (2009 to 2011) as the defensive backs coach at the University of Maine, where his charges led the Colonial Athletic Association in pass defense in 2011. Two of his former players, Jerron McMillian (4th rd draft, Packers) and Trevor Coston (free agent, Bears), were signed by NFL teams.
He worked with the DBs and kickers at Bucknell for three seasons, from 2006 to 2008. The Lewisburg, Pa., work followed a seven-year (1999-2005) stint as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Bates College.
Vashel also worked at King’s College (1995-98), Harvard (1994), Springfield (1992-93) and Trinity (1991), while getting his master’s degree in sports management from Springfield in 1994.
Vashel and his wife, Cathy, have two sons, Ethan and Cole.
|Title:||Assistant Coach - Outside Linebackers|
Paul Rice ’10, the captain of the 2009 Yale football team, was named the Bulldogs’ outside linebackers coach in February 2013.
Rice came back to New Haven after a year as an offensive graduate assistant coach at Georgia Tech, where he helped the Yellow Jackets to a 7-7 season and a 2012 Sun Bowl victory over Southern California.
Rice was a four-year Yale starter who began as one of the biggest cornerbacks in the country and finished his collegiate career as a first-team All-Ivy linebacker. He accumulated 196 tackles, six interceptions and numerous big plays with the football in his hands while earning league honors three seasons.
The former Ohio Division III co-defensive player of the year and National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete at University High School in Cleveland Heights helped the Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring defense consecutive seasons.
Rice played one season for the L’Hospitalet Pioners (Barcelona, Spain) in the spring of 2011. He served as a player/coach, competing on both sides of the ball and helping the Pioners to a national championship.
Rice, the former political science major in Silliman College, was a volunteer with the Yale football team in the fall of 2011.
|Title:||Assistant Coach - Tight Ends|
Patrick Hatch, a three-time all-conference offensive lineman at Union College, completed his second year at Yale in 2014. Hatch, who spent the prior four seasons as an assistant coach at Stony Brook, is Yale’s tight ends coach.
Hatch was challenged with numerous injuries to his charges last fall but still engineered one of the most productive (35 catches) seasons for Eli ends in recent memory.
In his four years at Stony Brook, the Seawolves won four consecutive Big South Conference titles and advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs in both 2011 and 2012. In his first two seasons at Stony Brook, Hatch worked with the Seawolves’ defensive line before moving over to coach the running backs. He tutored All-America backs Miguel Maysonet and Brock Jackolski, who combined for more than 3,000 yards, while helping Stony Brook to a school record output in 2011. Maysonet finished second in voting for the 2012 Walter Payton Award, given to the FCS player of the year. Overall, Hatch mentored four players who rushed for over 1,000-yards during his two seasons with the running backs.
Prior to joining Chuck Priore’s staff on Long Island, Hatch coached the offensive line for three years at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. WPI increased its win total in each of Hatch’s three seasons, including the school’s best (7-3, 2008) mark in 16 years.
Hatch is a 2006 graduate of Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., where he was a four-year starter on the offensive line and a three-time All-Liberty League selection. In 2005, the Dutchmen were undefeated in the regular season en route to capturing the Liberty League title and reaching the second round of the NCAA Division III Championships.
Hatch, who grew up in and currently resides in Meriden, Conn., is a 2002 Maloney High School graduate.
|Title:||Assistant Coach - WR|
Art Asselta, a former Hofstra University quarterback who coached that position at McNeese State University in 2013, is Yale’s wide receivers coach.
His first (2014) campaign with the Blue produced big numbers. His WRs helped Yale lead the nation in total offense while Grant Wallace led the FCS in yards per game.
Asselta helped the McNeese State offense rank seventh in FCS scoring (40.0) and 17th in total offense (451.0) while the No. 11 ranked Cowboys went 10-3 and made the 2013 NCAA Playoffs. His pupil, Cody Stroud, who threw 28 TD passes, was Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
The new Bulldog staff member, coaching at his seventh school, has moved back and forth between WRs and QBs. At the University of New Hampshire in 2012, he mentored the receivers and the pass game while the No. 13 Wildcats reached the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Asselta served as an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana (2010,
2011). A pair of SEL signal-callers, Tyler Beatty and Brian Young,
grabbed spots in the school record books under Asselta. Beatty, as
a first-year starter in 2010, posted the eighth-best total in
passing yards (1,738 yards) while finishing his career sixth in
passing yards (2,328) and completions (188). Young succeeded Beatty
in 2011 and posted the third-highest single-season total in passing
yards (2,855 yards) while finishing third in career passing yards
(3,867) and completions (332).
He also spent six seasons as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks/receivers coach at Sacred Heart University. Asselta, who helped Dale Fink become the most prolific passer in school history, coached SHU’s three-time All-Northeast Conference receiver Steve Tedesco, who led the league in receiving with 67 receptions for 865 yards as a senior and holds school records for career receptions (229), career receiving yards (2,848), career TDs scored (37), career receiving TDs (37), receptions in a season (77), TD catches in a game (4) and catches in a game (12).
He coached the running backs in his first year at SHU and helped Ed Priccolo become the school’s all-time rushing and TD leader.
Before joining SHU, Asselta worked as a graduate assistant and running backs coach at Louisiana-Monroe, where he coached the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Warhawks since their move to Division I-A.
Asselta earned a 1999 degree in marketing from Hofstra where he was twice named conference player of the week. He holds a graduate degree from Stony Brook University and worked as a graduate assistant for the Seawolves for one season.
He and his wife, the former Jessica Andrews, have a daughter, Alexis.
|Title:||Program Coordinator Football Operations|
Chris Gennaro is Yale's coordinator of football operations, which he headed up for the first season in 2014. He has his hands on almost everything going on with the Bulldogs and was instrumental in Yale's 2014 success.
He is a 2012 University of Maine graduate with a degree in business administration and a concentration in marketing.
Gennaro was a kicker/punter at Maine for three years and worked as the football operations intern his senior year. His internship included travel operations, recruiting, alumni relations, and special teams preparation. Gennaro was part of the 2008 and 2011 Black Bears playoff teams. He is single and resides in New Haven.
|Title:||Director Strength & Conditioning|
Head Strength Coach for Football, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer, Men’s and Women’s Golf
Emil Johnson was named Yale’s Head Strength and Conditioning Coach in July 2005. Johnson oversees a program that includes 35 varsity sports and more than 800 athletes. Johnson joined the Bulldogs from the University of Hartford, where he had been the director of strength and conditioning from 2001-2005. Johnson served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Maine for two years prior to that, and was the men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach at DePaul University in 1998-99.
Johnson is a 1998 graduate of UMass-Boston with a B.S. in exercise physiology. He was a captain and three-year starting quarterback for the Beacons in football and also played one year of baseball. Following graduation he spent a semester as a strength and conditioning intern at Northeastern.
Johnson is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (C.S.C.S.).
He resides in Ellington with his wife, Ann, and their four children, Emil, Ayva, Addison and Emerson.